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Atlanta continues to be the place where everyone is just one step away from their big break. More times than not, the threshold to that “big break” is accomplished by who you know, rather than what you know. However, one rising star is taking Atlanta by storm, making moves, winning hearts, and making us swoon one role at a time.

Chris June is his name and he is Hollywood’s next leading man!

“I’m just really big on being myself, honing my craft, and doing what I’m suppose to be doing with my talent. I know that doors are opening for me because of that. I get to be Chris [June] everyday and I feel really blessed.”

Chris is indeed blessed with more than his fair share of beauty, body, intellect, and talent. The man can not only act, but is also an amazing singer, model, and fashion designer. When you first meet Chris you assume he is just another arrogant, handsome web star who garnered attention for his body, or who probably lucked out with a few thousand followers, and some pretty good “beyond the bathroom” Instagram photos. You soon learn everything you thought about him is wrong. Chris is the epitome of being down to earth, so much so that humility ebbs from his soul through his skin. “A lot of people have a misconception about me until they get to know me…I’m human just like everybody else, but I believe more than most, I think, that the energy you put out into the universe you get back. So i treat everyone with respect and dignity. The moment you get the big head and think you’re better than the next person then that’s your downfall…”

Mr. June may be humble, but that does not stop him from staying BOOKED. The man is Web Star Royalty when it comes to web series, having starring roles on Signal 23 TV’s About Him: The Revolution, Tyson Anthony’s Raising Eli, Lee Hayes’ BAIT, Big Dreams Productions’ Twisted, Bawn TV’s H.I.M. and Blackville, and is a panelist on Culture Club! Oh, and let’s not forget his upcoming film, Last Night In ATL starring opposite equally hot web star, Thomas Mackey! We find it extremely impressive and a true testimony to his talent that he can adapt to and play so many different roles. Naturally, he is a leading man, but we have really seen some of his best work when he is playing characters out of the box. One role, that of “Marcus,” in Twisted, really stands out to us. Here, he is a drug addict who literally screws and screws over the people in his life. Unkempt and unhinged, Marcus stands to lose it all if he does not get his life together. “That role was really different for me. In the audition process I originally read for a role that would have been, as you say, the leading man role and I remember the casting directors were saying they did not want to see me being typecast, wanting to see me in a completely different role and light. I had never heard anyone say that before so I went with it.” As you will see on Twisted (premiering on YouTube, Wednesday, November 15, 2017.), some of the most emotional scenes of the series involve him. The boy can cry on demand!

chris june in blackville

Chris June and LaTamra Smith from scene in Bawn TV’s “Blackville”

Chris’s roles on these series makes him the unicorn of the web star world; working for rival networks who to say the least have rarely played nice with one another. Chris, however, is determined to stay above the drama and out of the fray. “You know I really wish we all could just come together. There’s so much we could accomplish if we all pool our resources. There’s so much money to be made and such a big difference we can make if people would put their egos to the side. Just look at the success of Moonlight, Hollywood is starting to see our stories are powerful and viable and the desire to see more Black LGBT content building. I feel like these web series are a big part of that and are only becoming more and more popular. We need to be united.”

chris june

In just a few years, Chris sees himself living his dreams, having crossed over to mainstream acting and being one of the industry’s leading men. This is definitely something we see for Chris, unlike some of his compatriots who are content with being “Gay Famous”; he is definitely going for the gold! “I see all of this as the means to an end. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I know what I want for myself and how to use this platform–and that’s what it is a platform–to accomplish my goals. This is work and you cannot get caught up in the hype, attention, and likes because it is all fleeting. At the end of the day all you have is yourself, your dignity, the people you love, and a career if you have worked to make something of yourself. Do what you have to do so you can look back over your life and not have any regrets.”

Talking with Chris is never a conversation, or even an interview, it is an experience. He makes you feel like who you are and how you are is perfectly okay–and we love him for it. Are you swooning for Chris June? We are. Chris…consider yourself WEB STAR WATCHED!

Chris June

IG: @the24thofjune

Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

 

Movie News

Atlanta Actress, Toni Bryce, Stars in Her Own Indie Film, “Best Thing I Never Had!”

We are all for growth and expansion here at HeyMikeyATL, and are always elated when a great light flexes even more of her talent. That is exactly what Toni Bryce, a popular Atlanta actress, is doing with her latest venture, an independent film entitled “Best Thing I Never Had!”

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toni bryce best thing i never had movie

We are all for growth and expansion here at HeyMikeyATL, and are always elated when a great light flexes even more of her talent. That is exactly what Toni Bryce, a popular Atlanta actress, is doing with her latest venture, an independent film entitled “Best Thing I Never Had!”

toni bryce best thing i never had movie

Toni Bryce as “Brittany”

The film centers on the love story between a Black man and woman–with a twist. Toni states, “.. this relationship is no ordinary relationship. Dante, a Black Cis and Heterosexual identifying Man is openly dating Brittany, a Black Trans and Heterosexual identifying Woman. ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ chronicles the journey of their love story as Brittany learns to overcome her apprehension of whether Dante’s intentions are pure or evil. The story shows what it’s like for the two as they deal with raising children, reconciling friendships, and yearning for family acceptance while overcoming societal judgement and criticism. With the many challenges faced and bumps in the road, will this love last or will it all be a fairytale?”

Cast of "Best Thing I Never Had"

Cast of “Best Thing I Never Had”

We have to say based on the synopsis we are highly intrigued by this story. It is out of the ordinary, and with society seemingly becoming more receptive to transgender rights and people, it makes the story timely and necessary for representation and perspective. Toni went on to reveal she wrote the film to show everyone deserves love and to experience something real. This project was formed from an Instagram post I made where I was just speaking on my opinion that the sex work narrative is old and played out. I wanted to see something more. So, the amazing artist, Di Thomas saw my story, screenshot it and sent it to Onyx Keesha and Coley. They wanted to meet with me, we met and I told them where I was speaking from and shared my own experiences…BUT the kicker was, they wanted me write the script because it’s coming from my own experiences…then not only that, but they suggested that I star in it as well. And now a year later, we have ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ short film.”

Toni hopes people will see the film as a real love story, like any other cinematic portrayal of love. I truly want people to see a story where they get to experience and journey with these characters where love between ‘othered’ people is normalized and OK. A story that gives men that are Trans-Affirming or Attracted a visual display of what their own happiness could look like if they’d only live for themselves and not what everyone else thinks about their happiness. A big part of my own reasons for being single is because my worth and value don’t matter to the men pursuing me because society tells them that they’re gay and less of a man for dating me. Where everything is an effort and a life changing decision that they don’t feel they’re ready to make. Thus, I’m hidden in a room and only explored sexually. My health, mental stability, goals, passions, career, desires, and etc are left outside the door for the sake of ‘I’m ready to nut!'”
Production of “Best Thing I Never Had” seems to be well under way as the film has already been cast, and they have already had their first table read. Check them out below:

We are really happy for Toni and excited to see this cast in action. Congratulations Toni on this project and all your future endeavors. It is needless to say, but your 2020 is shaping out to be “lit!”

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Fashion

“BLOW!” Gary Lavard (@GaryLavard) Releases New Hoodie Line Benefiting Suicide Prevention & Awareness!

BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

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gary lavard blow hoodie

BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

gary lavard blow hoodie

Gary came up with the idea of BLOW based on his current mood and mental health. He relayed on iHeartRadio’s The Hey Mikey Show, that he once dealt with depression and anxiety, issues that can lead to suicide and wanted to give back. “There’s no shame in me saying that I’m currently in the best shape of life mentally, physically, and emotionally and I owe that doing some work on myself and seeking professional help through therapy…Getting the help you need and talking to someone can really change or save your life…there’s such a stigma in the Black community with mental health and it needs to change, so I’m doing my part to give back…”

gary lavard blow hoodie

We have to say we are really proud of Gary and the contributions his making in combating suicide and discussing mental health. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center states the following alarming facts:

gary lavard blow hoodie

Prevention efforts should address increased suicide risk among Black males. While increased suicide risk among Black females also warrants action, rates have typically been higher among males. Depending on the age group, the male-to-female suicide rate ratio has ranged from four-to-one to as high as eight-to-one.5 Young Black males are most at risk, although there has been a recent rise in suicide rates among Black children of both sexes under age 13.

Mental health matters. Having a mental illness significantly increases suicide risk among Black teens and adults.6,7 Although depression must be addressed, the strongest mental health predictor of attempted suicide in this population is anxiety. Prevention efforts should help enhance the existing psychological resources that help to buffer Black people against suicide risk, and also help protect them from sources of vulnerability. For example, Blacks who are socially connected through organized religious affiliation have a lower suicide risk.8 And we are learning that social stressors, such as perceived racism, exacerbate suicide risk among Blacks.

Congratulations Gary on your latest venture! You all be sure to purchase and support BLOW by getting your own hoodie by clicking here! Happy shopping!

**If you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide please contact someone at the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.**

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Web Star Watched

Web Star Watched- Ryan K. Sanders (@iamryanksanders)

The good thing about the Web World is that it’s always growing. Sure we have our favorite, veteran Web Stars, but there is always love for the newbies! One newbie in particular, Ryan K. Sanders,  has big dreams, major acting chops, and even bigger dreams. What’s the trivia behind this new beau making waves on AConnectionTV? Find out in our latest edition of Web Star Watched!

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Ryan K. Sanders

The good thing about the Web World is that it’s always growing. Sure we have our favorite, veteran Web Stars, but there is always love for the newbies! One newbie in particular, Ryan K. Sanders,  has big dreams, major acting chops, and even bigger dreams. What’s the trivia behind this new beau making waves on AConnectionTV? Find out in our latest edition of Web Star Watched!

Ryan K. Sanders

1. Have you always wanted to be an actor? What’s been your favorite role?

 It was not until I began acting that I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life moving forward. My favorite role so far has been playing O’Neil on H.O.E. I connected so well with role because of the similarities to one of my prior relationships and some of the events that took place.

2. How do you prepare for a role?
   I prepare by learning the characters background and trying to develop how I see them speaking, walking, their mannerisms, etc.

3. Who are biggest personal influences?
   My parents and my brother. My parents each have instilled in me work ethic that won’t allow me to be mediocre while my brother has constantly reminded to be true to myself no matter what anyone says.

4. Who are your biggest professional influences?
   Issa Rae & Rome Flynn

5. How do you manage your personal and professional life?
   I’ve recently had a difficult time managing the two; I’m still working to find that true balance.

6. What do you do in your downtime? Any hobbies?
   In my downtime, I play video games, listen to music, watch movies & (my two favs) sleep and eat! I also enjoy being outdoors, playing sports or working out.

7. What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
   The biggest misconception is that I’m mean or stuck up.

Ryan K. Sanders

8. Single, taken, or “it’s complicated?”
    Single

9. What do you think is your best physical feature?
   My lips and arms

10. Is there anything you don’t like about yourself, or feel you can work on?
    My confidence

11. Last movie you saw
    Greta

12. Your favorite web series
    Awkward Black Girl

13. Your favorite web star (you can’t pick yourself)
    Tina Christine

14. LGBTQIQA or straight?
    Gay

15. Something you can’t live without
    A peace of mind.

16. Biggest pet peeve
    Being cut off from speaking repeatedly and being ignored.

17. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone
    I really don’t have a peanut allergy

18. Age
    27

19. Sign
Capricorn

20. Quote to live by

    “To be yourself… is the greatest accomplishment”

Ryan K. Sanders

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